OBITUARY: Wilmington Police Department Retired Sgt. Joseph “Joe” F. Duffy, 86

Below is an obituary from Nichols Funeral Home:

WILMINGTON, MA — Joseph F. Duffy, “Joe”, Ret. Sgt. Wilmington Police Department, age 86, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on August 29, 2021.

Joe was born in Newton, MA, on July 20, 1935; he was the dear son of the late Charles and Mary Duffy. As a young boy, Joe, moved to Wilmington with his family when they bought their family farm on Aldrich Road. Joe along with his brothers worked on the farm, played sports and attended Wilmington Schools; Joe graduated Wilmington High School with the Class of 1954.

Joe enlisted in the United States Air Force on October 8, 1954, during the Korean Conflict; he was assigned to the 4238th Field Maintenance Squadron. Joe actively served for the next four years earning his way up the ranks from Private to Sergeant, in October of 1958, Joe was honorably discharged from active duty and immediately was assigned to the Air Force Reserves. While serving in the Reserves, Joe was again assigned to active duty during the Vietnam War for a period of time before being honorably discharged to his Reserve obligation. Joe continued serving our country for many years in the Reserves when in 1990 he was again called to active duty during Operation Desert Shied/Storm; once again putting the needs of our Country before his own. During his time in the Air Force, Joe, amassed many commendations, medals and ribbons for his fine service. He worked his way up the ranks and when he retired from his reserve duty in 1992, following 38 years of service to our Country. Joe earned the title of Chief Master Sergeant; something his whole family was proud of. Joe always showed his courage and Patriotism whenever and wherever he was called to duty.

While home on leave during one tour, Joe married the “love of his life” Margaret “Peggy” DeFelice; the couple settled in their home town of Wilmington and raised three wonderful children; Donna, Diane and Joe Jr. or “J” as he was nicknamed. Joe and Peggy loved their children unconditionally and looked forward to the times they spent together. They loved to spend summers in Wolfeboro, NH or at the Tree Tops Campground in Alton Bay with extended family and always looked forward to their annual vacations to Cape Cod or Canada or wherever the kids wanted to go; these were some memorable times with their family and friends. Joe was always involved in whatever his kids were doing; he attended countless school and sporting events and was a Wilmington Youth Hockey Coach for many years. In his later years, Joe was known as the “Best Grampie or Pop Pop” anyone could ask for. Joe looked forward to the times he spent with his grandchildren, he was their biggest fan and had a unique and special relationship with each one of them.

Joe worked hard to provide for his family and had an incredible work ethic. On November 1, 1960, Joe was appointed as a special Police Officer with the Town of Wilmington; this appointment led to a long and successful career with the Wilmington Police Department. Joe earned a permanent position and was sworn in on April 23, 1965; he earned his Sergeant stripes on December 13, 1985 and retired from the Police Force on August 18, 1995 following 35 years of dedicated service to the Town of Wilmington. Joe went above and beyond during his tenure as a Police Office; he not only provided safety throughout the community but got involved in community activities. For many years, Joe, was seen at Silver Lake cooking for the annual Police Beach Day Cookout for the kids in town; this was a yearly event that so many kids looked forward to and a great time was had by all. Joe also got involved with the Law Enforcement Task Force that provided security for the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996 and then again at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002. Throughout the years, Joe, received commendations and letters for his fine service to the Wilmington Police Department, the community and the Task Forces that he was part of; he again put the needs of others before his own.

In his spare time, Joe, enjoyed playing softball in the Town Park League for Charlies Auto Body or the Knights of Columbus. He loved following Boston Sports and was an avid fan of the Sox, Bruins and Patriots. Joe looked forward to his trips to Las Vegas to visit his daughter and her family and always found the time to head to a casino or two just to “try his luck”.

Joe was a member of the Knights of Columbus Fr. Croke Council in Wilmington, the V.F.W. and the Tewksbury/Wilmington Lodge of Elks; Joe enjoyed the camaraderie, he volunteered his time for community events and fund raisers and made countless friends throughout the years. Joe looked forward to spending time with his fellow retired Air Force Chiefs for their monthly luncheons or their trips to Alaska or the Finger Lakes in New York; these guys had a great time no matter what they were doing.

Joe will be fondly remembered as a “good guy” with an endearing personality and a warm smile. Joe always went out of his way to help others and was well loved by his family and friends who will forever miss him.

Joe was the beloved husband of the late Margaret M. “Peggy” (DeFelice) Duffy, devoted father of Donna Luce & her husband David of Las Vegas, NV, Diane Martin & her companion Tim Robarge of Wakefield, and Joseph F. Duffy, Jr. “J” & his wife Kristin of Wilmington. Loving “Grampie & Pop Pop” to Ashlee & her husband Clint, Brandon & his wife Kim, Ronni & her husband Craig, Randee, Kevin & his wife Vanessa, Brett, Joanna and his great-grandchildren Willow, Caleb, Brooklynn, Nick, Alex, Lilly, Stephane, Dante, Gianna and Natalia. Dear son of the late Charles and Mary (Canney) Duffy, brother of the late James Duffy and the late Charles “Sonny” Duffy, Jr. Joe is also survived by his sister-in-law Shirley DeFelice as well as his many nieces, nephews and their families.

Family and friends gathered for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Thursday, September 2nd from 4:00-7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial for Joe was be held on Friday, September 3rd at 10:00 a.m. in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington. Interment with Military Honors followed in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Joe’s memory to the Local Heroes, Inc., P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887 or to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959.

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